Following the rocket attacks and subsequent retaliations by Israel, the State Department made a statement during a press briefing Monday condemning all violence across the Gaza strip. State Department spokesperson Ned Price called the recent turn of events “an unacceptable escalation.”
“While we urge de-escalation on all sides, we also recognize Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself, to defend its people and its territory,” Price said.
“More broadly, we’re deeply concerned about the situation in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza strip, including violent confrontations in Jerusalem, particularly in the Haram al Sharif Temple Mount, that has resulted in at least 180 additional injuries, as well as the rocket fired from Gaza, hitting houses in Jerusalem and the threat of further rocket attacks,” Price said.
“The United States will remain fully engaged to promote calm in Jerusalem and we welcome the steps the Israeli government has taken in recent days aimed at avoiding provocations, including the decision to avoid confrontations during the Jerusalem Day commemoration and the delay in the decision regarding the Sheikh Jarrah evictions.”
Just Friday, Price’s office also made a statement on the riots in Jerusalem. Then, the statement read: “There is no excuse for violence, but such bloodshed is especially disturbing now, coming as it does on the last days of Ramadan.”
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism
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CIA director meets with Israeli PM to arouse regional support following drone attack
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By Jenny Goldsberry
Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns visited Israel Wednesday in an effort to rally regional support amidst attacks from Iran. Burns discussed possibilities for regional cooperation with Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
Late July, drones struck an Israeli tanker off the coast of Oman. As a result, two crew members died. Since then, the United States blamed Tehran for the attack. Iranian officials deny their involvement.
At the time, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the White House was noticing a disturbing pattern. “We feel it follows a pattern of attacks and other belligerent behavior,” Psaki said. “And these actions also threaten freedom of navigation through crucial waterways — something that is posing a risk to a range of countries around the world.”
Therefore, the press secretary suggested that countries get involved. “You know, I would also note that we know our British partners have called for action, called for steps in a coordinated way from international bodies, including the United Nations, which we would certainly support,” Psaki said. Now, Burns’ visit symbolizes the United State following through on the White House’s comments.
According to a statement from Burns’ office, he met with Bennett after meeting with the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligency agency David Barnea. Burns met the Israeli leader in Tel-Aviv. “They discussed the situation in the Middle East, with emphasis on Iran, and possibilities for expanding and deepening regional cooperation,” the statement read.
Next, Burns will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.
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